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[Album Review] "Showroom of Compassion" - Cake

Cake is back after a 6 year hiatus with their new album "Showroom of Compassion" that was released in January.  This is their 6th full length album from the group.  It was the first album for the band to debut on the Billboard Top 200. Cake has been around since 1991.  It's kind of hard to categorize their music.  They are kind of a college rock, ska, punk, jazzy, funky collaboration of sounds.  The album starts off really nice.  I love the first song:  Federal Funding.  I think this song is the strongest on the album.  Here it is below: It's sardonic and mocking and has such a nice beat.   My interpretation of the song is a lampoon of how poorly some Federal money is managed.  "Take your colleagues out to dinner....You'll receive the Federal funding." The thing that is hard about following a song like that...is that it's hard.  And unfortunately, the new album goes down from there.  The next song is "Long Time" and has an unusual funky beat that is infectious.  I like it as well, but the bar is high because of the first song.  Then there are yawners like "What's Now Is Now" and "Mustache Man (Wasted)."  Then there is the instrumental "Teenage Pregnancy" that is both daring and simple.  I enjoyed the horns in the song.  They mesh well with the other instruments. The rest of the songs are good and bad.  "Bound Away" is probably the gem in the mix and has a solid orchestration and drifting quality that is alluring and presciently ethereal, examining death and the aimless wanderer.  Lead singer John McCrea's sings, "Seconds turn to minutes, minutes turn to hours,  Hours give you a lifetime and a grave with pink flowers." We end on "Italian Guy."  It's not an especially endearing song, but it's a good way to end the album.  It has a solid sound, but leaves you wanting more. Overall: The album is a solid work overall.  There are some songs that will stick with you, and others that wont'.  I would encourage you to listen to the whole thing at least twice the whole way through to give it a chance.  There are some songs that aren't very good, but the album is listenable and if you are a huge Cake fan, you will enjoy it. -Soren Nieminen

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02/11/2011 1:22PM
[Album Review] "Showroom of Compassion" - Cake
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